South Wales based social enterprise WATESAVERS, which is running a project to tackle digital poverty in the community, is appealing for votes in order to be crowned National Lottery Project of the Year.

Wastesavers Reuse Centre, 
a social enterprise which drives forward environmental, social and economic sustainability,  beat off stiff competition from more than 1500 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

There are 17 shortlisted finalists from across the UK, who will compete in a four-week public vote to be named the inaugural National Lottery Project of the Year. Winners will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their project and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.

Wastesavers was set up as an environmental project in 1985 and today runs recycling services for 75,000 residents in Newport and also has a number of charity projects. During the pandemic, they received a grant of £34,605 from The National Lottery Community Fund to provide second-hand IT devices to the digitally and socially excluded, with the aim of bridging the ‘digital divide’ in the community.

The charity focuses on three things – alleviating poverty by providing household items, electrical items and renovated IT items to those in need, education in the community about the importance of recycling and reuse and offering teenagers who are struggling in mainstream schooling an alternative education that gives them numeracy, literacy and practical skills. 

 

Wastesavers has a network of nine reuse shops across Cardiff, Newport and the South Wales Valleys, where individuals and companies can donate unwanted household, electrical and IT items. This not only stops them going to landfill but helps those who are struggling financially, while staff and volunteers gain vital skills restoring them. A digital training programme runs alongside to ensure everyone is IT literate. With many connections to other support services, they regularly donate items to people in crisis.

Alun Harries, Charity Manager at Wastesavers, told us…..

“We are delighted to have been made a finalist in this year’s National Lottery Awards- even more so because there are so many incredible projects.

Coronavirus has revealed the scale of the digital divide and digital poverty is a significant problem. Lockdown and the closure of schools brought the digital divide to the forefront. Some families rely on a single mobile phone or tablet.

As well as children missing out on learning, those without online connections often couldn’t stay in touch with their friends. 

Thanks to National Lottery funding, we are able to consistently deliver initiatives and outreach work that help alleviate household poverty and support those who are most in need in the community. All this is achieved whilst raising awareness and educating people about the importance of recycling and reuse. 

To be recognised for everything that we do is an honour and we really hope people will get behind us.”  

To find out more about the project go here – WASTESAVERS.

Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery told us…..

“In these challenging times that we still find ourselves in, we see so many examples of inspirational work throughout our communities, driven by these very projects. It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that brilliant projects like these, are possible.

“Wastesavers are doing some incredible work in their community and they thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the National Lottery Awards Project of the Year 2021. With your support, they could be a winner.”

Jonathan Tuchner

To vote for Wastesavers Reuse Centre, please please follow the link on the National Lottery Good Causes website here .  Or simply use the Twitter hashtag #NLAWastesavers on twitter. Voting runs from 9am on 6th September until 5pm on 4th October.

For more information about projects funded by The National Lottery or The National Lottery Awards visit GOOD CAUSES  and follow the campaign on Twitter: @LottoGoodCauses #NLAwards  

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